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The Statesman

Published Date: Feb 14, 2012

PAK-INDIA SYNERGY CAN TURN CLIMATE CHANGE THREAT INTO OPPORTUNITY

Coopera­tion between Pakistan and India can turn the climate change threat into opportuni­ty for ensuring peace and prosperity in both countries as well as in South Asian region, said ~delegates from two countries.
Speaking at Pakistan, India Track II Dialogue on (Climate) Change for Peace here Monday, they called for continuous dialogue to devise a regional strategy to deal with existential threat of cli­mate change, provide partici­patory and policy-oriented assessment of environment, natural resources and their implications for South Asia.
It is organized by Sus­tainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) & Center for Science & Environment (CSE), India with support of Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS). It prompts to develop actionable agenda for climate change in Pakistan & India in water. energy, gender, climate change adaptation, livelihood aiming at normalizing rela­tions between India & Pak­istan by engaging experts, civil society representatives.
Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, Advi­sor Planning Commission of Pakistan on Climate Change & Development said Pakistan & India face common adver­saries in shape of climate change that needs collective response to deal with it.
“We must at least narrow down gap particularly on water, if not on all issues, institutionalize, devise appro­priate strategies for climate change adaptation.”
Britta Peterson. Country Director HBS Pakistan urged delegates to take advantage of this platform and come up with new, practical ideas. “Gravity of situation needs efforts to carve out realistic road map for Indo-Pak collab­oration on combating climate change, provide comprehen­sive, policy-relevant, science based assessment of environ­ment in South Asia to policy maker.”
Shafqat Kakakhel. Senior Advisor SDPI &. Former Deputy Executive Director UNEP stressed need of col­laboration between India, Pakistan and South Asian countries on climate change. Pakistan & India must dis­cuss, explore vistas’ of coop­eration on climate change as both have integrated ecological! system with shared natu­ral resources.
Only regional coopera­tion can help address existen­t; I threats of climate change. Water availability in the region is highly susceptible due to climate change which affects glacial melt and mon­soon system that feeds rivers.
He felt SAARC can be instrumental and must serve as principle vehicle for sub-regional cooperation on issues related to environment, climate change. socio-eco­nomic development.
Harneit Sievers Country Director HBS India said dia­logue on climate change between two countries is essential to systematically improve relations and partic­ularly discuss issues where both countries have a com­mon position.
Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Senior Research Associate, SDPI said track-II dialogue aims to provide platform for experts and people across the border to discuss possibilities for cooperation under climate change regime with joint research-policy-action and sharing of technology, knowl­edge and experiences.
Sanjay Vashist, Program ‘Advisor Climate Change, Heinrich Boll Foundation. India Office said, climate change threat can be convert­ed in to opportunity through effective bilateral talks, coor­dination between two coun­tries.
Climate change poses serious threats to develop­ment process in South Asia. “W must need to move ahead leaving behind minor differences to benefit of bil­lions of people in South Asia.”